High school turns into a ghost town

A student arrested for bringing a bomb to campus earlier this week and the threat of further violence caused Gilroy High School’s attendance numbers to plummet today.
Only about 675 of the 2,000 students — about one-third of the student population — showed up for first period this morning. That’s likely an all-time low for a school day, according to Principal Wendy Gudalewicz.
The students who did come are getting the benefit of smaller classes and a free lunch.
“We’re trying to make It as positive as possible for the students who came,” Gudalewicz said.
Most of the classes at the school had about three to eight students. One P.E. teacher ordinarily would have had 40 students in each class, but he estimated he would have a total of 50 students for the whole day on Friday.
Students on campus did not seem to be too scared, but parents were coming on campus all morning, asking for news or to take their children
home.
Because the threat of violence on campus today, which some heard was supposed to be a “Columbine type shooting,” was so well known, many students did not think anything would happen.
“I think it’s a little Ile that was blown out of proportion,”
said senior Elizabeth
Bertolone.
Junior Sandra Catiller moved to Gilroy In October from Brea, a southern California town. She said she was a little nervous to be at school and that tensions also ran high on the campus on Thursday.
“It’s really scary,” she said. “Yesterday, it lust felt like everybody was preparing for the apocalypse. I’m a new person here, and where I came from, I never thought this could happen.”
An increased police presence was apparent around the campus and administrators from the district office were on hand to help keep an eye on the school. The sheriff’s department also was helping out, and the Gilroy Police Department’s Anti-Crime Team was supposed to be on the campus at lunch.
Before school started, all the facilities were checked and police even checked the rooftops, according toe Gudalewicz.
Although attendance was low, Gudalewicz believes keeping the school open is important.
“I think it’s worth it for the message it sends,” she said. “If we had any reason to believe we should shut down, based on factual information, we would, but these are just rumors.”

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